Sunday, October 13, 2013

One last rant for the road.

To my ten or so faithful readers and to those who have randomly stumbled upon this page. I am going on a indeterminate, possibly permanent hiatus. If nothing else I owe each of you a genuine Thank You for your time considering my view points.

Maybe I have been reading too much Hunter S. Thompson lately, but I really want to get a few things off my chest.

Capitalism in its current incarnation, dependent on growth, secured by debt, and contingent entirely on disenfranchisement is not sustainable. American capitalism, its roots fed on slave labor, has become unrestrained by borders or even morals. The single-minded avarice that by law must be central to the function of any publicly held company, is incapable of thinking long term. This blind avarice will lead to over consumption of resources, and eventually, the tainting of the few left behind.

Will the ball keep rolling through my entire lifetime? That is the gamble everyone working today is taking. Will the american economic system still be functionally solvent when I need the benefit of the retirement I've earned? With the social contract attacked on all sides by people who are actually beneficiaries, it is hard to be optimistic.

If everyone was a millionaire, what would be the point of being a millionaire. The rich need the poor to be poor, and the poorer the poor are, the richer the rich become, because the economic leverage they wield grows directly in proportion. The rich need the poor in other ways as well, from the aggregate taxes that provide the roads and bridges, to the labor that directly led to their last meal.

Even these fundamentals don't properly frame the the problem. For many years now, a lot of the burden of the efforts of man has been eased by oil. In a similar way slavery provided effort for a callous chosen few, we shifted to consuming plants and animals that died millions of years ago. Since the dinosaurs are in no position to complain, we feel no guilt. But there is no free lunch, and as this finite resource dwindles, the systems built upon it will fail us.

I have written about the numerous reasons to embrace austerity in our fossil fuel consumption, from the medical technology to agricultural systems that are dependent, but I have shied away from the out right environmental arguments hoping to appeal to a middle ground. But as the first waves of climate refugees are already being forced from their homes in places like the south pacific islands and soon Bangladesh, I would be remiss to withhold my real predictions.

I foresee our already corrupt and ineffective government continuing with "Business as usual" for as long as they can. Putting out small fires and focusing the nations attention to what ever deck chairs they can find on this Titanic failure of regulation. This will basically condemn future generations to a very uncertain future of food insecurity and tainted water. The political power base from both major parties has no impetus to help with more than staving off the inevitable for only their lifetimes.

Basically, the oil men don't care about the future of our nation, only the profits possible in their lifetime. The history of oil exploitation (very well documented in "The Prize" by Danial Yergin) is ripe with examples of oil companies working against national interests. They have no loyalty to anything other than profit, and they have invested some of that profit in political campaigns to further their own ends not ours. The basic truth is, the average american has simply been priced out of representation in our government.

But the burden of blame does not solely rest on the extractive industries or even the puppets they have installed in the government, but also on the shoulders of the consumers. Some of the blame to consumers is attenuated by the propaganda generated by industry, an argument can also be made that the watering down of the education system prevents rational actors in the market due to asymmetric information bases.

It is just sad that human suffering on a massive scale must be the trigger before change can happen. The heartlessness of capitalism will ultimately be its own downfall. Once people get a real taste of what unrestrained avarice is capable of, even if our society has to collapse for it to be fully understood, it will undoubtedly change the course of history permanently. How can we trust someone over the age of fifty to know whats best for our country, they will undoubtedly be long since buried when the full scope of this impending crisis is known.

 "History repeats its self, but each time the price goes up." (I don't know who said this, but I heard it recently and it stuck with me). We have to remember that we only think we are more advanced than Romans, Greeks and Egyptians, but in truth, our physiology has changed very little. We are still barely more than monkeys with shoes. The same pit falls that bedeviled our ancestors are still with us today. As much as we would love to believe we have conquered nature, soon we will be reminded of our place. We are no more immune to societal collapse than any of the other failed societies throughout our history.

Today, we are poisoning our selves in a myriad of ways everyday in the name of progress. VOC's from the goods we buy, Fumes from the transportation we took to get them, contamination of the water in the name of crude inefficient fuel in the first place. Even the labels on our food reads more like a chemistry lab assignment than nourishment. We have even convinced most of the population to hold a point source of microwave radiation next to their head several times a day.

"If you are not pessimistic you probably don't understand the data" -Dr. Hanson. Yes understanding climate change is hard, there is so much information out there and much of it is either written entirely in geek or faulty propaganda. So accepting the status quo is the fall back for most Americans. In reality, they are tying their own noose. We have become accustom to blind faith for several societal reasons. Religion has played its part, but so has the dizzying rise of technology. Politics also has become so burdened with minutia that the ten second attention span cultivated by televised media makes deciphering it a struggle.

The environmental movement has lost. We were out spent and the diminishing returns from what few battles we won will never equal the sea change we need. Now it is too late, atmospheric carbon levels are well past the estimated "safe" level, and in the decades to come, we will bear witness to our mistakes. Wish as we might, we will probably never be able to uncontaminate our water, or continue to grow food with the "tried and true" methods that in reality are barely a generation old.

It is time to stop thinking that there is anyone but ourselves look out for us. The government is no longer available to protect the interests of its citizens (unless you can afford it, I know I can't). You have to ask your self, "Where does my water come from?" and "How is it protected?". Because you can bet the capitalists are not interested in your needs. Ask "How is my food sourced?" and "How sustainable is that system?" Because the capitalists have no problem with tainting your food in the name of profit. Self reliance is the only answer looking forward that I can give you.

Thank you all once again for reading my work. I know I can sometimes be a downer, but thanks for sticking with me. "So long and thanks for all the fish!"

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